Life with or without a Pituitary Gland Tumours

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In general, individuals with pituitary tumours, whether or not they are surgically treated, usually have a good quality of life, with no special limitations from the point of view of diet, exercise or sexuality, except in very rare cases with significant visual involvement or in certain secreting tumours.

In some cases, it may be necessary to have replacement therapy for any hormone deficiencies. This is usually oral and easy to administer. There are hormones, such as testosterone, in which the administration is intramuscular or transdermal, or in the case of growth hormone treatment, it is administered subcutaneously.

The recommendations on toxic habits are similar to the general population:

do not smoke

To stop smoking.

 

alcohol

Moderate alcohol consumption.

 

apple

Follow a healthy diet.

 

Woman swimming

After the surgical intervention, physical activity will be limited, and will start gradually, depending on the instructions of the neurosurgeon. Swimming will not be practiced for the first few months after the surgery. 

 

Sexuality, sex, masculine, feminine

Sex life will be strictly normal, although in patients who have gonad axis involvement may be affected until it returns to normal with suitable replacement therapy.

 

travel, ariplane

Patients can travel normally. In cases in which replacement therapy is needed, it is advisable to take sufficient medication for the whole journey and, where possible, in the hand luggage (at least the doses for a few days) in order to avoid problems in case the checked-in suitcase goes astray.

 

pregnancy

Pregnancy may or may not be advised depending on the type of pituitary tumour.

In non-functioning tumours, less than 10 mm and far from the optic chiasm, pregnancy is usually approved, but if the tumours are large or near the chiasma, surgery is recommended before becoming pregnant.

In functioning tumours, it depends on the type. Women with a microprolactinoma may become pregnant under medical supervision. If the pregnancy is planned, in general, cabergoline is replaced with bromocriptine before the pregnancy, and all medication is stopped once the pregnancy is known. If the patient has a macroprolactinoma, pregnancy may be allowed if it is not too large and does not affect the chiasma. It is likely that bromocriptine could be continued during the pregnancy.

In the case of growth hormone (GH) producing tumours, surgery and treatment is recommended prior to the pregnancy. However, in cases where it has not been possible to surgically cure it, there are small remains, and are on medical treatment with somatostatin analogues, it may be assessed to suspend the treatment and allow the pregnancy under close medical supervision. Pregnancy is not recommended in corticotropin (ACTH) producing tumours.

 

Substantiated information by:
Julia AlcazarNurse — Neurosurgery DepartmentJoaquim EnseñatNeurosurgeon — Neurosurgery DepartmentMireia MoraEndocrinologist — Nutrition and Endocrinology Department

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

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